Paul Tuthill

Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief

Paul Tuthill is WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief. He’s been covering news, everything from politics and government corruption to natural disasters and the arts, in western Massachusetts since 2007. Before joining WAMC, Paul was a reporter and anchor at WRKO in Boston.  He was news director for more than a decade at WTAG in Worcester.  Paul has won more than two dozen Associated Press Broadcast Awards. He won an Edward R. Murrow award for reporting on veterans’ healthcare for WAMC in 2011.  Born and raised in western New York, Paul did his first radio reporting while he was a student at the University of Rochester.

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Massachusetts Lt. Gov. Karyn Polito is working to build strong ties between the Baker administration and municipal government leaders.   She is doing it one small meeting at a time as she travels around the state. 

Polito has visited more than 40 municipalities in Massachusetts since late January, leaving her with more than 300 to go. Her plan is to visit all 351 communities in the state before her first four-year term is up.

WAMC

The owners of apartment buildings in Holyoke that are deemed to be “hot spots” for criminal activity will receive letters warning they must develop a security plan in collaboration with the local police or risk losing the building to receivership and possibly face criminal charges.

At a Holyoke City Hall press conference Monday, Mayor Alex Morse and Police Chief James Neiswanger held up a letter printed on red paper stock that was sent to the owner of a 40-unit apartment building where police were called more than 250 times in a six- month period last year. 

With the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency expected to announce new carbon standards for power plants this summer, a scientific study released today says strong standards would provide immediate health benefits.

A comprehensive regional economic development strategy, “The Pioneer Valley Plan for Progress” was released this morning.   It is a ten-year update on a document the Pioneer Valley Planning Commission first produced in 1995. WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with the planning commission’s executive director Tim Brennan.

     A former US Congressman has been selected to lead the University of Massachusett.

         Martin Meehan was the unanimous choice Friday of the UMass Board of Trustees to become the five-campus system’s next president.  Meehan, the current chancellor at UMass Lowell, was praised as a results-driven, visionary leader by board chairman Victor Woolridge of Springfield.  

              Randy Phillis, president of the union that represents professors and librarians called on Meehan to honor negotiated pay raises.

The Massachusetts Commissioner of Elementary and Secondary Education, Mitchell Chester, is in Holyoke today.  It is his first visit since a state education board voted earlier this week to put the city’s public schools under state control.

WAMC

Massachusetts Lt. Governor Karen Polito has visited more than 40 cities and towns since late January as she continues to work on improving relations between the Baker administration and the state’s municipalities.

   Polito on Thursday made stops in Agawam, Westfield, West Springfield, and Springfield where she held a private hour-long meeting with Mayor Domenic Sarno and top city officials.

WSU

Former Westfield State University President Evan Dobelle has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by the Massachusetts Attorney General that accused him of spending taxpayer money for personal travel and purchases.

      Dobelle has agreed to pay the state $185,000.  He would also withdraw a lawsuit he filed against the university claiming breach of contract and demanding payment of his legal bills. 

        In the settlement, which is still subject to approval by a state judge, Dobelle would admit no wrongdoing.  

WBUR

       Two finalists have been announced in the search for the next president of the University of Massachusetts.

       Martin Meehan, the chancellor of UMass Lowell and John Quelch, a Harvard Business School professor are the finalists to be the next leader of the five campus UMass system.  

      University spokesman Robert Connolly said the two were recommended by a search committee at a meeting Thursday in Boston.

Matthew Kang, flickr

Heroin and other opioid-related deaths rose in Massachusetts last year, totaling more than 1,000, but the state’s third largest city bucked the trend.

  Springfield Health and Human Services Commissioner Helen Caulton-Harris said the city formed a working group in 2009 to come up with ways to prevent opioid overdose deaths.

" The opioid overdose epidemic appears to be more in the outskirts of Springfield, but we certainly have our challenges," she said.

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